Bel Air Sports Cards in Bel Air, Md. has successfully combined the sports bar and card shop concept at home in Maryland, so they thought they would take it on the road.
That’s why when you come by booths 257 and 259 on the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention, the first thing you will see is a nicely constructed wood bar with colorful bar stools. It’s the brainchild of Bel Air owner, Mel Lundgren and it’s all about standing out from the crowd, while giving his customers what they ultimately want.
“Two years ago, we wanted to do something different and unique, so we opened up a “card bar.”
In the Bel Air shop, there is a wide-open area complete with multiple flat screen TVs, a 36-foot long card bar, wall mounted display cases with LED lighting, expanded inventory, and a supply area which all leads to improved customer experience.
Lundgren wanted to carry that same philosophy to the card shows and events his shop attends.
“We decided when we were going to go on the road to shoes, we needed to create a shorter version of the card bar.”
They did, and it’s become popular with NSCC attendees.
“For the show here, this works out really well,” explains Lundgren, who has been selling cards since the age of nine. “We get families coming all the time, they’ll sit down and talk about the hobby and make purchases. This is about the bonding experience.”
Lundgren says that they plan events around the card bar.
“We will do a live break at the bar. It’s like (the TV show) Cheers.”
The store has become a popular spot in Maryland. They have family nights, after-hours events and are open six days per week.
At The National, the card bar stands out and gets all the attention, but Bel Air has a booth were Lundgren says that you can find a little of everything.
“We have a huge booth here and this is card bar section. Take a look around the corner and you will see that we are a full-service card shop.”
Stuck at home? You can find Bel Air on the web too: www.belairsportscards.com.
Check out our special section with stories, photos, video and more from the NSCC here.
Follow us on Twitter here.
Sign up to get our headlines in your email each morning here.